When you hear that an early April game between the Rays and the White Sox drew an abysmally low number of fans, it’s not really surprising. The Trop, after all, tends to be pretty empty for most of the year, and neither of these clubs are likely to make much noise in 2018.

But wait! For some reason, the White Sox and Rays are playing a series in Chicago in April. Predictably, the weather was awful; it’s been a record cold start to April in many parts of the Midwest, and the Cubs home opener yesterday was actually snowed out.

The White Sox did somehow manage to get the field playable:

But predictably, given the quality of the teams, the uncertainty of the game actually being played, and the very cold weather (it did get up in the 40s, but winds were gusting all day), and the number of fans in attendance was quite small. The announced figure (fans who actually bought tickets, whether or not they showed up) was 10,377. As to how many were actually there, well, it wasn’t 10,377.

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the number was actually much lower:

974! If you’re wondering what that looks like in a major league stadium, here it is:

On this Nicky Delmonico home run, you can see about a dozen people sitting in right field, across multiple sections. But even weirder than the visual element is how different a game sounds with so few people in attendance. The homer was a big one, in context; it cut the lead from 4-1 to 4-3 in the fifth inning.

Rather than the usual wall of noise, you can make out individual voices. That only happens when it’s much quieter, as anyone who’s stuck around for an 18-inning game on a weeknight or waited out a lengthy rain delay can attest. This is to the extreme, though; it’s basically a sparsely attended minor league game.

This is the risk of starting outdoor sports in very cold weather cities in April. Sometimes it’s absolutely beautiful. Sometimes you get snowed out. But either way, it’s tough to make money selling concessions to a crowd smaller than a mid-sized high school football game.

The two teams were back at it today in front of an announced crowd of 10,069. Surely it was more full than Monday, right?

Just play these games in Tampa next time.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.